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7 Quick Takes — 31 More “Gaza War”, Coffee and Sillyness.

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— 1 —

 

Reading foreign news reports, I have found that Operation Protective Edge is now often referred to as the “Gaza war”. I find that a little bit strange, because, well, it’s a conflict with military participation, but seriously, the word “war” freaks me out. All of my siblings have war experience, with the Second Lebanon War, and my dad served in every war since the Six Day War (yes, even the Second Lebanon War, even though he was nearing retirement age), but me, no.

The continuing conflict is taking a toll on me, because of the lack of sleep, mostly. And while I whine here about not sleeping well, I am amazed by residents of teh South, who carry on despite much, much worse circumstances than what I experience here, in my little Tel Aviv bubble. Going for coffee, or to the beach, or even just doing my grocery shopping are luxuries not everyone can afford now, because the Hamas attacks are ongoing. There is now a bitter joke about how ceasefire means we cease, Gazans fire… and that eventually Hamas will turn to the UN to complain that the Iron Dome takes down their rockets even during ceasefires. The sad thing is, as things go, that could happen. Hamas fired rockets at their own people, and now blame Israel for the deaths and damage.

— 2 —

The past two weeks I saw Kevin twice, the second being yesteday/today. It was good to have him home for a night before he leaves to joining our kids in Europe for two weeks. Or three the most. I mean if they can stay, why miss August 20?I wish I could have gone with them. I was also going to participate in a craft fair, but then things changed. I am so frateful for the ceasefire, and I do hope it lasts the 72 hours, because it’s one less thing to worry about as they fly. I will be alone for the next two weeks so I’m going to spend these two weeks in the city.

ETA: The ceasefire lasted all of two hours. Wonderful. Not.

— 3 —

After really having to convince my local coffee place’s barista that I’ve already gotten a coffee free, and it should be Hamas paying not the company, I was given a jar of luxury instant coffee as a gift by one of the soldiers I work with. So now we are making fun coffee creations using whatever we have on hand. I made some chocolate sauce flavoured with green almond extract that is popular. I just love that we can create designer coffee from pennies with an electric kettle and a frappé whisk. We are creative.

I experimented more with the cold porcelain. I opted to use food colouring instead of acrilyc paint for the most recent batch. Acrylic kept ruining my plastic bowls, food colouring washes off. If i make individual batches, I add the food colouring to the glue at the start of the process, but if I colour smaller batches, I re-heat the cold porcelain in the microwave, and work in the colour as well as more corn flour. The only negatives I found was that the colour transfers on my hand, but the same thing happened with tempera paint and one if my acrilycs.

— 5 —

I’m pretty clumsy and I luck artistic ability, but here is what I just made:

Once he dries, I need to sandpaper it to get rid of the colours that were transfered by my hand, and then paint the eye (which I kinda didn’t do right anyway). Still, I’m quite happy with it.
There are several books that are mostly about working with polymer clay, but the ideas and techniques presented in them would work with cold porcelain, too. The only thing you have to remember is that cold porcelain air dries, and it shrinks a bit, so do not bake it.
Here are some of my recommendations:

The Polymer Clay Techniques Book
Creating Lifelike Figures in Polymer Clay: Tools and Techniques for Sculpting Realistic Figures
Complete Book of Polymer Clay, The

— 6 —

Coming over to my rental in Tel Aviv, I picked up some books to read. This is one of my favourite summer readings:

The title translates as “We and They” from Hungarian, and it’s the third in a series of books by Italian journalist and novelist Brunella Gasperini. All three books are about the same, slightly dysfunctional but very funny and very real family, presented from the point of view of different members of the family: the first book is from the father’s, the second is from the mother’s, and the third one is from the youngest daughter’s POV. It’s a brilliant series, but it seems to be unknown in the English speaking world. To be honest, I think it is unknown outside of Italy and Hungary. I read the whole series most every summer, so now, between sirens, I’m reading on the balcony, with one of my iced coffee creations. All of asudden, life is a bit better. The bitter sweet message present throughout the series remind me that we aren’t all that different today than the people were in the sixties, when this book was written.

— 7 —

 

Shabbat shalom! Tonight we are praying for peace, here, in Syria, in the world. Tonight we are praying for the Jews of Paris and the displaced Christians of Mosul and the people of Gaza and Israel. Tonight we are lighting candles, breaking the chalah, drink the wine, and pray for the soldiers kidnapped during today’s brief ceasefire and for the families of the 61 dead IDF soldiers.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Quick Takes – 16

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Based on previous years’ experience, today being Good Friday, there will not be a 7 Quick Takes link up. So, as usual, my Passover related Quick Takes will be even more invisible than normally. 🙂

— 1 —

Passover, or Pesach, began on Monday evening with the Passover Seder. Sefer means “order” and it refers to the order of events during this one specific celebration. I’d like to point out that “Christian” Seders held on any date other than teh first or second nights of Passover are model Seders at best: the date of the Seder is just as strictly defined as the date of the whole festival. Exodus 13:8 tells us this date. In the Diaspora Jews usually have two Seders and Passover lasts 8 days, in Israel there is one Seder and Passover lasts a week.

This year my parents visited one of my brothers for Seder, and we ended up hosting Kevin’s (Christian) parents and brother’s family, my twin brother’s family and my little brother’s family for the Seder. We kept it sweet and short(ish), with the kids getting tired, and to be honest, I don’t think our non-Jewish family got much out of our Haggadah reading, but everyone seemed to have fun.

— 2 —

Those of you who have read here for a while know that Passover is a very challenging festival for me, because I hate matzah. I love egg matzah, but unfortunately it’s not really acceptable in Ashkenazi circles. I try to eat several small pieces every day, as it’s a mitzvah, but I generally try to avoid matzah and matzah meal in most meals. So I made a veal roast with vegetables and mashed potatoes for lunch, which I will brag about in my new cooking blog, My Gay Kitchen. No, I didn’t buy the domain, and no, I don’t expect it to last much longer than my previous cooking blogs. But maybe.

— 3 —

Tuesday night Kevin and I had dinner with some of his former colleagues. It was a lovely meal, and I had a blast. One of his colleagues works for a magazine that deals with the supernatural, UFO sightings, and conspiracy theories. He is on the payroll as a translator, but when they don’t have enough stories to fill the magazine, sometimes he has to write some. He shared some of tge things he had translated/written, and I have to admit that the dust in the wir interpreted as plasma spheres are pretty believable compared to some of the things these magazines publish. Did you know that not only is Elvis alive, but he is financing Obama? Yeah, me neither.

That reminds me, if creationists want equal air time for their pseudo-science, I demand TBN show The Cosmos–both the original and the new one!

— 4 —

How my world changed! I can barely remember the last Harel Skaat concert I went to….

The last few shows I actually bought tickets for someone else ended up going. I really hope we can go sometime soon. I am still a fan. 🙂

— 5 —

I am making coasters for a fundraiser! I’m really excited, because it’s benefitting new immigrants! The money raised will be used to provide services for elementary school aged olim, who normally receive no language and other school support in their new communities. I only need to make 100 more!

— 6 —

 Since I discovered Warehouse 13, making those 100 coasters shouldn’t be that big a problem. I can make three or four during an episode, and there are several seasons… Why didn’t I know about this show before? I have been discovering shows like that, shows that I should have been watching and I didn’t even know it existed! I really am living under a rock! I still haven’t seen Oblivion, either. I don’t want to see Noah, to be honest, but apparently there are some good films out now. So recommend me something to watch… and to read. I am currently not reading anything.

— 7 —

As I said, Jen is not hosting the 7 Quick Takes this week, but Jen (not the same Jen) posted some, as well as the Priest’s Wife. Go check their posts. 🙂

 

7 Quick Days Friday

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— 1 —

Our family has temporarily grown with Yonah and Yehiel moving in the basement and commuting to Uni daily. Yonah has temporary custody of two of his brothers, and our “guest suite” is now their temporary home. Our home is a little more crowded, especially since Yonah’s new dog has moved with them, but I think we will manage.

— 2 —

I am a bit behind on my 31 Day Challenge (31 Days in the Jewish Quarter), partly because the above thing happening, and partly because I am just being extremely busy with homeschool and coordinating extracurricular activities. Fencing and art have started back up, as well as Krav Maga and piano lessons. There have been lots of doctor’s appointments as well–though not as many as some of you are used to–and I finally scheduled eye appointments for everyone who needs them! The biggest problem is that I still can’t drive, so we have to plan a lot more time to use public transportation. Luckily we do have regular buses!

— 3 —

Winter is coming! Ok, with the temperature getting close to 30°C (80+°F), it doesn’t really feel like that, but we have t he first cholent of the season already in the oven, and we finish the day with mulled cider. We have already devoured the candy corn that my friend Nathan brought us, including the one last emergency piece. To extend the availability for the candy corn, I mixed the candy corn with pretzels and peanuts in a big bowl. Now we have a big bowl of pretzels and peanuts. My kids are too smart for tricks like this.

— 4 —

The other day I was watching the Deaf News segment. Kevin walked in and turned the volume up high before realizing that the deaf news still don’t have sound. He commented, “They should have put on some sound at least where they were singing with the beer.” My reply? “You definitely don’t want to hear 200 deaf drunks sing!”

For some reason we found this hysterical. Gosh, I still get tears from laughing just thinking of it!

— 5 —

On the homeschool front, I am a glutton for punishment, and started to teach my newly 5-year-olds to read English. They are doing pretty well with Hebrew reading, even though they are not really starting reading till first grade, but our traditional religious classes do teach reading. So there. We are working on English. Kevin, I and it seems all the other Anglo homeschoolers disagree on just how it’s supposed to be done, and apparently some Anglo homeschoolers take offense at my view that my kids are Israeli and their mastering Hebrew is more important than reading Dr. Seuss at age 5 years and 2 months. Luckily there are others, who just think we are plain crazy raising children in a household speaking 6 languages now. Bella learnt Yiddish at school in Russia, and is now delighted to use it with Yonah’s brothers, whose first language is Yiddish. She also speaks Russian with Eli and Harel. Noa speaks Armenian with Kevin, and Nirel and Yonah speak a Dutch/Afrikaans mix to each other. Craig, Patrik, Matthew and Justin use Hungarian with each other and me, and English with Kevin, and then of course most everyone speaks Hebrew. And some sign. Let me tell you, it makes life and homeschool interesting!

— 6 —

Harel Skaat is releasing his first song from his new album soon! I’m getting super duper excited about it! Kevin is, too, he really likes going to concerts with me, even if it’s Mr. Skaat. He is pretty happy that the next one we are going to is Ivri Lider.

— 7 —

Sunday I have an appointment with a bone specialist. After both my wrist (that had surgery after the last time I broke it) and the bony labyrinth on my non-implanted left side show bone being a lot thinner than it should be.  Maybe he will be able to come up with something.

Shabbat Shalom!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

31 Days in the Jewish Quarter Day 17 – Jewish Head Covering Part 2 – Women

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31days

Muslim women, wearing a hijab are easy to spot. Most Christians are also aware of 1Corinthians 11:5-6, and do their best to explain the shamefulness of a woman’s head not being covered. Some Christian churches require women to cover their hair in church or during prayer, some require that they wear a head covering at all times, or no such requirement exists at all, as it is no longer shameful for a woman to cut her hair.

For most Jewish denominations the covering of a married woman’s hair is a requirement. This goes back to the Talmud, and is considered to be a Biblical requirement based on a passage in Numbers. We know for certain that as far back as Talmudic times women covered their hair, and likely the refence in Numbers shows that women back in those times were head coverers.

There are many ways for one to cover their haid upon marriage. Some choose to wear wigs-though Ovadia Yosef only allowed that for divorced women or widows in the Sephardi communities, but many wome choose this option in the religious Ashkenazi community. Others combine a wig or a half wig with a hat. Yet another option is simply a hat, or a shawl or bandana. Some Mizrahi communities adopted the hijab trends of the countries where they came from, but this is rare even in Israel these days. In some Chassidic communities the bride’s hair is shaved upon marriage, others keep it short out of convenience, and others yet don’t think showing their hair, as long as their head is covered, is a problem.

For a variety of lovely designs, you can visit this Etsy shop! I am in no way affiliated with them, I just love the lovely designs.

Many times the observance of this aspect of modesty is up to the women in the less Orthodox communities. My former and current congregations both suggested but didn’t enforce that married women cover their hair. It is done by many Conservative or Conservadox women, while others opt not to do it, or even to take on the obligation of wearing a kipah, which is a sign of egalitarianism and women accepting the same responsibilities as men… Or a combination of all previous options are possible!

My cousin always tells us that he has no idea what his mother’s hair looks like. My auntie keeps telling us that she has the best pixie cut in the Middle East, but alas, we will never see it. When my brother Efi married my Sister-in-law Maya, she said she’d cover her hair for his sake, because he is pretty observant. Efi told her to only cover for her own sake, so she doesn’t. Because as with every mitzvah, this has to come from inside, or it will be just another meaningless tradition.

As I mentioned earlier, this tradition has to do with modesty, much like the hijab in Islam. The major differences are that head covering is only required of married women, not all women, and the covering only involves a small part of the head compared to the hijab. It leaves the face, the chin, the neck and often the ears free. Actually, taking it to the extreme, like some Jewish “Talib” women in Jerusalem doing so, is considered sinful. Maintaining the accepted modesty level of the community is a must for religious women, but overdoing it is not generally accepted.

The role of women in Judaism deserves its own post (or series, really). It’s a complex matter, of which choosing head covering vs. being expected to cover by the community is only a small part.

For other 31 Days posts, click here. For a collection of Hebrew and Yiddish words used in these posts, click here.

 

31 Days in the Jewish Quarter Day 8 – Hear, O Israel (repost)

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Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Zsidó Muzeum - 2004.06  (26)

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

This post was originally posted on Nov 15, 2009.

For other 31 Days posts, click here. For a collection of Hebrew and Yiddish words used in these posts, click here.

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